The loss of British Commonwealth mercantile and service women at sea during the Second World War by Brian James Crabb.
This book gives a critical account of every shipping disaster during the Second World War which involved the loss of British Commonwealth mercantile and service women. Just hours after Britain and France had declared war on Germany the Donaldson liner Athenia
(4 women lost) was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat in the Atlantic. The repercussions that followed ensured that mercantile movements were to be largely deployed in escorted convoys for the rest of the war. Many mercantile women decided to continue in their respective shipping companies. In four separate cases the George Medal was awarded for outstanding and unselfish bravery. This powerful and largely unknown subject also includes the story of the City of Benares
(4) which was transporting evacuee children to Canada, and the Aguila, which claimed the lives of all 22 service women on board. A chapter deals with the evacuation of Singapore; 21 women survivors of the Vyner Brooke, which was sunk by Japanese aircraft, were shot in the back in cold blood by Japanese soldiers at Muntok beach, on Bangka Island. Another 34 women were lost in the Ceramic, 11 more in the hospital ship Centaur
and a staggering 77 service women, a third of the final total, in the troopship Khedive Ismail, the worst maritime disaster involving the loss of women in our entire history. Other ships included in this extensive story are the losses of SS Yorkshire
(2) MV Domala
(2) MV Apapa
(1) MV Rangitane
(2) SS Almeda Star
(2) SS Anchises
(1) SS Britannia
(4) SS Umona
(1) SS Nerissa
(2) SS St Patrick
(1) SS Lady Hawkins
(1) SS Kuala
(6) SS Tandjong Pinang
(1) SS Vyner Brooke
(12) MV Manunda
(1) SS Elysia
(1) SS Avila Star
(2) SS Gloucester Castle
(1) SS Andalucia Star
(1) MV Boringia
(1) SS Orcades
(1) MV Stentor
(6) SS City of Cairo
(2) SS Strathallan
(4) HMS Fidelity
(1) MV Amerika
(2) SS Talamba
(1) SS Newfoundland
(6) and SS St David
NB (Brackets) denote the number of mercantile/service women lost in each ship.
The book includes many appendices, including the names and details of the 222 service/mercantile women lost at sea during the war. It also includes a list of honours and awards given to some of the women in this story and others. There are over a hundred illustrations.
Dates that the ships shown below were sunk:
3 September 1939 (SS Athenia) 18 October 1939 (SS Yorkshire) 2 March 1940 (MV Domala) 17 September 1940 (SS City of Benares) 15 November 1940 (MV Apapa) 27 November 1940 (MV Rangitane) 17 January 1941 (SS Almeda Star) 28 February 1941 (SS Anchises) 25 March 1941 (SS Britannia) 30 March 1941 (SS Umona) 30 April 1941 (SS Nerissa) 13 June 1941 (SS St Patrick) 19 August 1941 (SS Aguila) 19 January 1942 (SS Lady Hawkins) 14 February 1942 (SS Kuala) 14 February 1942 (MV Tandjong Pinang) 15 February 1942 (SS Vyner Brooke) 19 February 1942 (MV Manunda) 5 June 1942 (SS Elysia) 5 July 1942 (SS Avila Star) 16 July 1942 (SS Gloucester Castle) 6 October 1942 (SS Andalucia Star) 7 October 1942 (MV Boringia) 10 October 1942 (SS Orcades) 27 October 1942 (MV Stentor) 6 November 1942 (SS City of Cairo) 21 December 1942 (SS Strathallan) 30 December 1942 (HMS Fidelity) 22 April 1943 (MV Amerika) 14 May 1943 (MV Centaur) 10 July 1943 (SS Talamba) 13 September 1943 (SS Newfoundland) 24 January 1944 (SS St David) 12 February 1944 (SS Khedive Ismail)
ISBN 1 900289 66-0
Cased hardback (full colour, laminated), 118 illustrations, appendices, index etc., 252 x 192, 320 pages long. Launched 1 June 2006 @ £24.00p plus £3.80p postage in the United Kingdom. Email: email@example.com
__________________________________________________________ Beyond the Call of Duty
New History of Naval Action Makes Waves
Portishead author Brian Crabb's first book, Passage to Destiny, which was published in 1997, related to the sinking of SS Khedive Ismail
in February 1944. With the loss of 1,297 lives. It became the third worst Allied mercantile disaster in the Second World War and involved the highest loss of service women – 77 in total - throughout that period of unstability across the globe. With Brian Crabb's father, Percival 'Buster' Crabb, who was one of the very lucky survivors of the attack, the initial publication sparked off two further works. In Harm's Way, the story of Buster's earlier ship HMS Kenya, and The Forgotten Tragedy, about the sinking of HMT Lancastria, established Brian as a foremost author of recent maritime history. His fourth offering, Beyond the Call of Duty, which was published this month, returns to the harrowing and little-known history of the female involvement in the Second World War and chronicles the loss at sea of all British and Commonwealth service and mercantile women during this arduous conflict. Their vulnerability is highlighted by the sinking of the SS Athenia
less than nine hours after war was declared, with four stewardesses among the casualties. This book is superbly researched and lavishly illustrated, Beyond the Call of Duty
is a veritable wealth of detail. Each incident is recorded meticulously with personal details, ship history and even the U-boat involved, the captain's name and his success record. But far from being merely a catalogue of dry facts, the brutal sinkings, personal suffering and heroism together with horrifying Japanese atrocities are described with extensive on-the-spot testimony, making the book as exciting and emotional a read as a fictional blockbuster. With the 320-page hardback carrying a hefty £24 price tag, one is entitled to expect something a bit special. This top quality, superbly constructed production is just that - a book which must soon feature in all maritime reference libraries and in the collections of sea lovers everywhere. Brian Crabb, who owned a garage in Clifton, still lives in Brampton Court, Portishead. He certainly deserves the highest accolade for the latest in his quartet of immaculate chronicles, in which he offsets the horrors of war with the dedication and bravery of so many hitherto unknown men and women.
Beyond the Call of Duty
by Brian James Crabb is published by Shaun Tyas, Donington, ISBN 1 900289 66 0.
Review by Pat Derrick Clevedon Mercury
- 7 September 2006
Review of Brian Crabb's book Beyond the Call of Duty
by John Armstrong Thames Valley University Journal Issue: July 2007
This book aims to bring together in one volume a record of all the women, whether in the armed services or the mercantile marine, who were killed at sea as a result of enemy action in the Second World War. It achieves this by a large number of vignettes of sinkings. These tend to follow the same pattern and are well contextualised. The background of the ship is given; its owners and its peace time duties are specified, as is the particular final wartime journey with details of the crew size and composition. The circumstances of the attack are given in detail - the mode of attack, whether by submarine, surface raider or plane; how many shells, torpedoes or bombs were fired, and if they hit, where on the ship. The minutiae of the ship's sinking are given as well as the number of lifeboats launched or rafts released. In each case there is an estimation of the number of crew or passengers lost and those rescued, and how that was achieved. There are sad tales of long ordeals in open boats with little water and few provisions. Heroes and villains emerge as well as victims, and special emphasis is given to the female heroines, often stewardesses, who saved lives, raised morale and nursed the injured, some of whom were honoured by medals or decorations. There were also some acts of humanity by German u-boat commanders, such as surfacing among lifeboats and rafts to give out water and biscuits and in one case at least to repair an upturned lifeboat, and in another taking on board survivors. (This was before the Laconia
order issued by Admiral Donitz.) Among the book's strengths are an abundance of illustrations (well over a hundred), a very full index stretching over 20 pages, a substantial bibliography and a long list of primary sources consulted, mostly in The National Archives at Kew. There are also some useful appendices which claim to give comprehensive coverage of all women known to be lost at sea in the Second World War in chronological order of sinking, honours and awards made to women who served at sea, and various lists of ship losses in sundry convoys. The author is also keen to notice the record breakers. The first sinking of the war which caused female service casualties was the Athenia
on which four stewardesses died, and the worst, that is the greatest loss, was the Khedive Ismail
which took 77 service women to their death when it was torpedoed in the Indian Ocean on 12 February 1944. My main criticism, rather paradoxically, is that there is not enough about women in the book: they remain marginal. In many of the cases studied there is full contextualisation of the sinking in great detail and then in a sentence or two it is mentioned that there were a number of stewardesses on board, their names are given, but little more is known than that they went down with the ship. I would have welcomed more on these women. A similar imbalance can be seen in the chapter on the 'Evacuation of Singapore' where several pages are devoted to the loss of the Prince of Wales
but to the best of my knowledge there were no women in either crew, and certainly Brian Crabb makes no mention of any female involvement. So should this incident have been included? There is another mismatch between chapter title and content in chapter 6, 'Japan's commerce raiders enter the fray', in which several pages are devoted to losses in the North Atlantic, which involved no Japanese! The problem probably lies with the sources. In many cases, no more has been recorded about these women despite Crabb's assiduous researching. In some instances there is substantial data available or first-hand accounts have survived and here there is plenty of flesh on the skeleton. To sum up, this is a useful source book for maritime historians. It has an abundance of cases of maritime loss, mostly those involving women, and has much detail on awards to women for bravery. We should not forget the huge sacrifice made by merchant mariners in the Second World War - about 35,000 killed. Brian Crabb suggests - or the women who were lost at sea, also in the line of duty - well over 200.
Review of Brian Crabb's book Beyond the Call of Duty
by Morgiana P. Halley Virginia, USA Book Review published in The Northern Mariner
Volume XVI in 2006
The book is excellent, both well-written and skilfully organised, on a chronological line. Maintaining chronological reliability is rendered extremely difficult by the fact that parallel timelines necessarily run simultaneously in the Atlantic and Pacific theatres as well as in the Indian Ocean. Moreover, simultaneous attacks may have occurred anywhere on a given date at a given time. The author has managed to overcome this impediment admirably. Each segment, chapter, and appendix is agreeably headed by the profile drawing of a ship. Appropriate photographic illustrations, interspersed throughout, represent most of the vessels whose final moments are described, as well as a far larger number of personal photographs of both victims and survivors than might have been expected. Looking through the text, one is also consistently amazed that the author acquired so much eloquent first-hand testimony about the sinkings, when the primary subjects of his study were, by definition, deceased. The book begins with extensive acknowledgements, and an introduction explaining the seven services in which his subjects served. They were the Merchant Navy, WRNS, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY), Auxiliary Territorial Service, WAAF, Queen Alexandra's Military Nursing Service, and Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service. In this introductory section, one or two women who served Britain as agents in the Secret Service are also honoured, There is, perhaps, less detail on many individuals than one would have wished but, given the circumstances, and the considerable passage of time since events chronicled, the research is amazingly inclusive. Some chapters in the body of the book are general in content, while others deal with just one specific incident, although the chapter titles do not make clear which is which. The more comprehensive chapters are divided by the symbol * * * between narratives of individual vessels. The conceit significantly reduces confusion. All sorts of vessel losses are covered, from attacks by submarines, raiders and aircraft, as well as mines, and one chapter deals solely with the loss of hospital vessels. Extensive appendices, beyond the usual bibliography (which includes a significant number of unpublished sources), photographic credits, and index, include all available relevant details about the women lost, lists of honours and awards, a list of known memorials, lists of ships lost in three specific convoys, details of injuries of Khedive Ismail
survivors, a list of British merchant vessels lost 1939-45. Surprisingly, with all this well organised secondary data, there is no glossary. In connection with lowering lifeboats, not only 'falls', but also 'gripes', 'frapping lines' and 'hobblers' are mentioned, with no indication of what their differences or similarities may have been. Printers' errors, grammar and punctuation faux pas, inappropriate word choice, and awkward constructions occur with fair regularity but, while they definitely constitute a minor annoyance, do not significantly detract from the worth of the textual content. A notable exception to this occurs on page 81, where the third paragraph leaves one in total confusion as to the actual fate of Captain Christian [it does tell the reader the fate of Captain Christian]. It is ironic under these circumstances, that the author's acknowledgements include for 'meticulous' copy editing. Much of the content, which could have been sensationalised, is treated so skilfully that the tabloid feeling which so often attaches to survivor narratives in wartime and immediately post-war publications is, for the most part, avoided. Among notable inclusions are a passage, on the superb seamanship that brought a vessel under the counter of a sinking ship to better advance rescue efforts (page 53). There is even a bit of comic relief, as when a survivor opens a packet of biscuits from a lifeboat's supply and finds a note reading: 'If the contents of this package are not satisfactory, please quote No. 293 (page 102). Crabb's interest in his subject was engendered by the research for his first published effort, a book about the loss of the SS Khedive Ismail, in which he had a personal interest. Although Crabb's father survived this sinking, the son, in chronicling it, realised that there were quite a few female casualties. That led him to further investigations, culminating in Beyond the Call of Duty. The research for the present book also gleaned some further data on the Khedive Ismail
incident, and these are presented in the final chapter, called Passage to Destiny after the previous work. Perhaps the most interesting new material is correspondence from a medical/scientific petty officer who spent time with the author's father in a survivor leave establishment. On the whole, I believe this book constitutes a significant contribution to the knowledge of any reader, whether it be specific useful data for serious academic research or merely a general understanding of the sorts of perilous situations faced by both men and women at sea during the Second World War.
Review of Brian Crabb's book Beyond the Call of Duty by Richard Cornish Book Review published in The Review
on 20 June 2006
Motivated by the earlier in-depth work undertaken for his previous book, Passage to Destiny, the sinking of the transport Khedive Ismail, author Brian Crabb decided to extend his research into the loss at sea of Commonwealth Mercantile and Service women during World War II. The result details the two hundred and twenty-two women who perished at sea whilst travelling or serving worldwide in thirty-six different ships. The author's research uncovered related information including personal accounts by survivors, honours and awards, details of other women who served at war and background information concerning convoys, U-boats and their commanders' etc., all of which have been included. Each incident has been meticulously researched using original Admiralty documents in the National Archive plus an impressive list of related published sources. All are listed with other useful information in eleven Appendices. The first of these provides details of all women who have no known grave but the sea, the second details the ship in which they were serving or sailing. The third lists honours and awards to these ships followed by a fourth list of honours and awards to other women recipients who also served at sea. There follows a number of useful lists concerning Memorials, relevant Convoy details, Hospital Ships and MN vessels lost at sea. All ADM files consulted at the National Archives are listed, as is the impressive bibliography of published works consulted. Last but not least is a list of photograph credits for the one hundred and eighteen excellent black and white illustrations featured throughout the book. If your interest is the Merchant Navy at war, this work of reference deserves a place in your library; it makes for thoughtful reading, albeit at times very harrowing. Finally two thoughts: then and now - Stewardesses, as the author points out, didn't have to go to sea but many did. Some lost their lives and some received awards for bravery. One such stewardess was Emma Ferguson who was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1944. In September that year she was discharged ashore as 'surplus to requirements' and eleven days later received her CRS 66 - her process sheet for National Service. She was only 64 at the time! Being Australian born I expect she took it all in her stride. 50 years after the loss of the Irish Sea ferry St Patrick
a memorial service was held at sea for those who lost their lives when she was sunk. It wasn't the Red Ensign that was dipped during the service but the Swedish one on the stern of the Stena Normandica.
BRISTOL garage-owner and naval historian extraordinaire Crabb has carved a unique career documenting some of the forgotten tragedies of World War II at sea. His definitive work on the SS Khedive Ismail
opened a whole new subject for him – the role of the many brave women who put to sea alongside male colleagues and ran the gauntlet of U-boat and air attacks. Hours after Britain and France had declared war on Germany the Donaldson liner Athenia
was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat in the Atlantic with the loss of four women. Although the book is truly massive in scope, and the Appendices apparently endless. It is never dull, and the all-too human detail is at times frighteningly imaginable – for instance, our hearts go out to the plight of the poor woman dragged into a lifeboat after one merchant ship sank to find that all four of her children were missing. In fact, it is the suffering of the youngsters, who occasionally found themselves adrift for days or even weeks, that stand out like beacons in the relentless descriptions of bombings and sinkings. A fascinating and worthy tribute, filled with Crabb's trademark eye for human tenderness and the will to survive at all costs.
Simon Harding Western Daily Press 20 July 2006 Beyond the Call of Duty can be purchased from the author, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org
or phone 01275 844229 (00441275844229 from abroad) for more information.
Roll of Honour
Beyond the Call of Duty
Abbreviations used below:
AANS: Australian Army Nursing Service ACW: Aircraftwoman AGH: Australian General Hospital ATS: Auxiliary Territorial Service (EA): East Africa (BRC): British Red Cross CCS: Casualty Clearing Station CGH: Combined General Hospital EAMNS: East African Military Nursing Service FANY: First Aid Nursing Yeomanry MN: Merchant Navy QARNNS: Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service QAIMNS: Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (R): Reserve TANS: Territorial Auxillary Nursing Service WRNS: Women's Royal Naval Service WTS: Women's Transport Service.
Where known, ages are in brackets after the name
List and Dates of Shipping Sunk During the Second World War Carrying Service and Merchant Navy Women
(Glasgow) sunk 3 September 1939
Baird Hannah (?) Stewardess from Quebec City, Canada Harrower Alison (41) Stewardess MN/R 48110 Johnston Margaret (41) Stewardess MN/1129539 Lawler Jessie (60) Stewardess MN
(Liverpool) sunk 18 October 1939
Reynolds Helene (54) Stewardess MN Shepley Jeanne (25) Volunteer ATS (formerly Women's Transport Service W/3500
(Glasgow) bombed and damaged 2 March 1940
Bacon Phyllis (21) Chief Wren (President II) WA/4715 Barnes Margaret Watmore (18) Chief Wren (President II) R/7860 Benjamin Cecilly Monica Bruce (20) Chief Wren (President II) WA/6975 Blake Forster Cecilia Mary (?) Third Officer (Cormorant) Bonsor Dorothy (?) Chief Wren (President II) N/7862 Chappé-Hall Margaret Eulalia (26) Third Officer (Cormorant) Cooper Madeleine Alice (31) Chief Wren (President II) P/6093 Grant Mary (?) Chief Wren (President II) P/2209 Gribble Kate Ellen (32) Nursing Sister SRN QARNNS (Cormorant) Joy Cecilia Alix Bruce (24) Third Officer (Cormorant) McClaren Victoria Constance (?) Third Officer (Cormorant) Macpherson Florence (35) Third Officer (Cormorant) Miller Kathleen (34) Third Officer (Cormorant) Milne Home Isabel Mary Milne (23) Third Officer (Cormorant) Norman Mildred Georgina (21) Chief Wren (President II) R/3615 Ogle Christine Emma (34) Second Officer (Cormorant) Reith Josephine Caldwell (28) Third Officer (Spartiate) Shepherd Elsie Elizabeth (?) Chief Wren (President II) 8870 Slaven Catherine Johnston (19) Chief Wren (President II) C/9322 Smith Beatrice Mabel (30) Chief Wren (President II) R/6116 Waters Ellen Jessie (?) Chief Wren (President II) 7491 Wells Rosalie (33) Chief Wren (President II) R/6120
SS Lady Hawkins
sunk 19 January 1942
Gorbell Lillie (49) Stewardess Canadian MN
(Singapore) sunk 14 February 1942
Brebner Miss Matron (Singapore) Coward Laura Home Nursing Sister QAIMNS 206068 Alexandra Hospital Jones Violet Maud Evelyn Principal Matron QAIMNS 206238 Alexandra Hospital Russell Winifred Matron QAIMNS 208018 17th CGH Wells Brenda Irene Nursing Sister QAIMNS 206534 West Cicely Lucy Mary Matron QAIMNS 206503 No 1 Malayan General
MV Tandjong Pinang
bombed and sunk 14 February 1942
Le Blanc Smith Beatrice (?) Nursing Sister QAIMNS 206286
SS Vyner Brooke
(Kuching, Sarawak) sunk 15 February 1942 in the Bangka Strait
Gantzel Else (38) Stewardess MN from Denmark Gerda-Wischke Henriette (29) Assistant Stewardess MN from Denmark
(Montivideo, Uraguay) sunk 14 May 1943
Adams Margaret Lamont (39) Nursing Sister VFX66028 AIF AANS Haultain Helen Francis Jane Cynthia (38) Nursing Sister NFX76581 AIF AANS Jewell Sarah Anne (39) Matron VFX39205 AIF AANS King Evelyn Veronica (37) Nursing Sister NFX76573 AIF AANS McFarlane Mary Hamilton (28) Nursing Sister SFX11679 AIF AANS Moston Myrtle Mary Eileen (35) Nursing Sister NFX125936 AIF AANS O'Donnell Alice Margaret (41) Nursing Sister 112194 AIF AANS Rutherford Eileen Mary (33) Nursing Sister VFX65924 AIF AANS Shaw Edna Alice (35) Nursing Sister NFX119281 AIF AANS Walker Jenny Wendy (24) Nursing Sister 72356 AIF AANS Wyllie Doris Joyce (26) NFX138687 AIF AANS
(London) sunk 10 July 1943
Johnson Maud Louise (?) Nursing Sister TANS 213630
(Liverpool) bombed 13 September 1943
Cameron Una (31) Nursing Sister TANS 209965 Cheyne Agnes McInnes (?) Matron QAIMNS 206099 Cole Dorothy May (29) Nursing Sister QAIMNS 218052 Gibson Phyllis (31) Nursing Sister QAIMNS 223596 Lea Mary (31) Nursing Sister TANS 213741 O'Loughlin Annie Margaret (?) QAIMNS 234988
SS St David
(London) sunk 24 January 1944
Dixon Sarah Elizabeth (32) Nursing Sister QAIMNS(R) 206968 Harrison Winnie Alice Elizabeth (?) Nursing Sister QAIMNS(R) 260251
SS Khedive Ismail
(London) sunk 12 February 1944
Airey, Freda (23) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 260226 Arnott, Constance Lillian (43) Nursing Sister, EAMNS. Gold medallist of the Cape Medical Council Examinations, 1923. Sister-in-charge of Salisbury Native Hospital, 1931; daughter of Sydney N. & Lucretia M. Arnott. Atkin, Joyce Kathleen (28) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 270574, daughter of Sidney Robert and Annie Atkin. Austin, Barbara Mary (24) Sergeant, WTS (EA) formerly FANY, No. K/541 of South Africa. Barden, Jeanette Lillian (25) Third Officer, WRNS, HMS Tana, daughter of Sidney Valentine and Lilian May Barden. Barwell, Gladys May (31) Nursing Sister EAMNS No. EDCC/360, wife of C. Barwell of Kericho, Kenya. Bateman, Edith Mary (41) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 257776, daughter of Lewis and Margaret Bateman of Risca, Monmouthshire, Wales. Batten, Hazel Mary (23) Wren, WRNS, No. N/68311, HMS Assegai, daughter of Robert William and Ada Victoria Batten of Hounslow, Middlesex, England. Beecher, Grace(49) Nursing Sister, EAMNS No. EDCC/359, daughter of Henry George and Sarah Beecher; stepdaughter of Ellen Beecher of Rainham, Gillingham, Kent, England. Breakall, Marie Elizabeth 'Betty' (22) Wren, WRNS, No. M/39735, HMS Assegai, daughter of Mr and Mrs F.B. Breakall of 57 Tulketh Crescent, Ashton, Preston, England. Brown, Amy (23) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274633 Burrows, Isabella (25) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 266663, daughter of Samuel and Jane E. Burrows of Coote Hill, Co. Cavan, Irish Republic. Calisher, Anne (c. 30) Corporal, WTS (EA) formerly FANY, No. K/570 of South Africa. Camerer, Constance Hildegarde (c.30) Sergeant, WTS (EA) formerly FANY, No. K/180 of South Africa. Carlyle, Agnes Kyle (33) Wren, WRNS, No. 40911, HMS Assegai, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Frame Carlyle of Bishopbriggs, Glasgow, Scotland. Cashmore, Patricia (38) Nursing Sister, EAMNS No. EDCC/371. Daughter of Arthur Brook & Annie Amelia Cashmore of Northcote, Victoria, Australia. Clark Wilson, Jean Margaret (25) Nursing Sister, EAMNS No. EDCC/362 Dalgarno, Elsie Alice (40) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 208105, daughter of Alexander and Mary Delgano of Aberdeen, Scotland. Dalton, Winifred Beach (21) Leading Wren, WRNS, No. 42535, HMS Assegai, daughter of George and Georgina Beach Dalton of Possilpark, Glasgow, Scotland. Dann, Elizabeth Doritha (25) Nursing Sister, SRN, SCM, QAIMNS(R) No. 250095, daughter of John Archibald and Mary Elizabeth Dann of Port Talbot, Glamorgan, Wales. Davies, Margaret Eluned, Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 238669 Dean, Cicely Coppard (31) Third Officer, WRNS, HMS Tana, daughter of Christopher and Florence Mabel Dean. Dervan, Gertrude (26) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 266750, daughter of Martin and Ellen Dervan of Loughrea, Galway, Irish Republic. Dewar, Alice Whitehead (28) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 270637, daughter of James and Mary Ann Stewart Dewar of Kinross, Scotland. Dowling, Beatrice Olivia (24) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 266662, daughter of Sam and Sadie Dowling of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Dryden, Clara Martha (39) Nursing Sister, EAMNS. Farrelly, Mary (25) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274735, daughter of Connor and Mary Farrelly. Fitzgerald, Catherine Mary (30) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274636, daughter of Richard and Ann Fitzgerald of Douglas, Co. Cork, Irish Republic. Fletcher, Gladys (26) Leading Wren, WRNS, No. D/9426, HMS Tana, daughter of William and Martha Fletcher of Prescot, Lancashire, England. Harvey, Grace Wesslink (47) Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274658, daughter of George and Agnes Harvey of West Hartlepool, Durham, England. Hastings, Valerie Francis (c. 30) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 263805 Hook, Sonia (27) Sergeant, WTS (EA) formerly FANY, No. K/113, daughter of Commander Logan Hook, JP, RN, and Mrs Logan Hook of Nanyuki, Kenya. Humphrey, Muriel Christine (24) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274079 Hunter, Ethel Margaret (19) Wren, WRNS, No. 43624, HMS Assegai, daughter of Walter Frederick and Sara Hunter of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Ievers, Eileen Mary Elise (40) ARRC Matron, QAIMNS No. 206235 Jarman, Marie (25) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274755 Johnston, Maud Fredaline (30) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274737, daughter of Matthew and Eliza Jane Johnston. Kells, Maggie Jane (32) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274727, daughter of William and Mary Anne Kells of Milltown, Co. Cavan, Irish Republic. Kells, Winifred Evelyn (23) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274733, daughter of William and Mary Anne Kells of Milltown, Co. Cavan, Irish Republic. Kentish, Barbara (30) Sergeant, Mentioned in Despatches, WTS (EA) formerly FANY, No. K/200, daughter of Edgar & Clara Margaret Kentish of Kemsing, Kent, England. Le Poer Trench, Patricia Helen (21) Sergeant, WTS (EA) formerly FANY, No. K/188, daughter of Arthur & Hilda Le Poer Trench of Kenya. Leckey, Muriel Emily (32) Nursing Sister, SRN, QAIMNS(R) No. 208615, daughter of Henry and Mary Ann Leckey. Leech, Barbara Elisabeth (27) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 266730, daughter of Thomas and Winifred Leech of Enfield, Middlesex, England. Littleton, Mary Joyce (26) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 236448, daughter of John and Louietta Mary Littleton of Wheyrigg, Cumberland, England. Maclaren, Jean Noel (29) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 238130, daughter of James Anderson Maclaren, KC, and Margaret Yule Maclaren (née Young). McMillan, Marion Lennox (28) Nursing Sister, SRFN, SRN, QAIMNS(R) No. 266937, daughter of Samuel Mitchell and Marion McIntyre McMillan of California, Falkirk, Scotland. Merrill, Beryl Elsie (25, ex-WRNS) wife of Surgeon Lieutenant-Commander Leslie Merrill, who was also lost along with their 5-month-old son Anthony David Merrill of Flyde Lodge, Slatem Road, Thornton, Lancashire, England. Moojen, Florence Fairburn(36) Sergeant, WTS (EA) formerly FANY, No. K/253, daughter of Mr & Mrs E. Moojen of Cobham, Kent, England. Moore, Isabella (33) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 215107, daughter of Thomas and Mary Moore. Morgan, Sarah (33) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274164 Nickson, Aileen Audrey Buchanan (19) Wren, WRNS, No. N/38215, HMS Tana, daughter of Percy and Mary Aileen Hunter Nickson of Hazelmere, Buckinghamshire, England. Nuttall, Phyllis (33) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274639 Nye, Beatrice Marjorie (20) Wren, WRNS, No. N/46151, HMS Tana, daughter of Mrs Ada F. Nye of Kensal Rise, Middlesex, England. Pirie, Barbara (30) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274846 Richardson, Sybil Gwendoline (?) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS No. 206418 Robertson, Helen Murray (21) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274402, daughter of William and Jessie Robertson of Fordyce, Banff, Scotland. Robinson, Marion Carson (32) Third Officer, WRNS, HMS Tana, daughter of William T.C. and Jessie Williamson of Rusholme, Manchester, England. Wife of AC1 Henry Cyril Robinson, No. 1053675, RAF. Senior, Doris Ena (27) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 260544, daughter of George H. And Eliza White of Barnby Don, Yorkshire, England. Smail, Heather Mowbray (20) Leading Wren, WRNS, No. R/43136, HMS Assegai, daughter of Captain Walter Smail OBE (MN) and Ida Smail of Withernsea, Yorkshire, England. Smith, Marjorie (c. 30) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 260546 Spence, Isobel (22) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274753, Scotland. Stafford, Audrey Hilda (19) Wren, WRNS, No. 60199, HMS Assegai, daughter of Francis Stafford Stafford and Hilda Janet Stafford of Tottenham, Middlesex, England. Taylor, Katherine Mary Monica (33) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 266464 Thomas, Jane Mair George (25) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 270493, daughter of Mr and Mrs L. Thomas of Llanelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales. Thomson, Beatrice Dunbar (21) Sergeant, WTS (EA) formerly FANY, No. K/233, daughter of James & Beatrice Thomson of Nairobi, Kenya. Todd, Margaret Ponton (29) Wren, WRNS, No. N/51125, HMS Assegai, daughter of John Cook and Margaret Todd of Markinch, Fife, Scotland. Urquhart, Mary Annie Ross (31) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274611, daughter of Mr and Mrs Donald Urquhart of Rhelonie, Sutherland, Scotland. Valentine, Helen Morag Jean (34) Leading Wren, WRNS, No. P/21962, HMS Tana. Walker, Kathleen Hewison (24) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 266754, daughter of Ernest and Jamesina Hewison Scott of Westray, Orkney, Scotland. Warwick, Roberta Alice (40) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 266463, daughter of Charles Joseph and Anne Almond Warwick. Whitaker, Mafalda Selene (27) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274344, daughter of Gilbert and Zeira Whitaker of Leeds, Yorkshire, England. White, Betty Ramsey (23) Wren, WRNS, No. R/36211, HMS Tana, daughter of Thomas Victor and Grace Gilmour White of Wallasey, Cheshire, England. White, Gwendoline May (27) Nursing Sister, SRN, QAIMNS(R) No. 274074, daughter of Lewis William and Alice Angeline White of Northolt Park, Greenford, Middlesex, England. Willis, Annie Amelia (33) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 209648, daughter of Frank and Alice Willis of New Zealand. Wolseley Lewis, Ann (30) Nursing Sister, EAMNS No. EDCC/363, daughter of Christopher and Agnes Stirke of Bedale, Yorkshire, England; wife of Arthur Wolseley Lewis of Gilgil, Kenya. Wyllie, Pamela Irene (21) Leading Wren, WRNS, No. N/47044, HMS Assegai, daughter of Frederick and Jane F. Wyllie of Plaistow, Essex, England. Young, Eleanor Jane (27) Nursing Sister, QAIMNS(R) No. 274629
HONOURS AND AWARDS GIVEN TO PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS STORY
ARRC: Associate of the Royal Red Cross. BEM: British Empire Medal. CBE: Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Ch.B: Bachelor of Surgery. MB: Bachelor of Medicine. MBE: Member of the Order of the British Empire. MID: Mentioned in Dispatches. OBE: Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
Ungazetted awards for service when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-306
in the North Atlantic on 22 April 1943.
Nielsen, Christian (Danish) Captain Hon OBE (Civ) Andersen, Jens Julius (Danish) Second Engineer Hon MBE (Civ)
Ungazetted awards by Lloyd's
Nielsen, Christian (Danish) Captain Lloyd's Bravery Medal Andersen, Jens Julius (Danish) Second Engineer Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Citation for Christian Nielsen and Jens Julius Andersen:
A whole gale, accompanied by blinding snow squalls and mountainous seas was blowing when the MV Amerika, sailing in convoy, was hit in darkness on 21 April 1943 by two torpedoes and sank within half an hour. The ship had on board 140 crew and troops and, of these, 88 were lost. Due to the severe conditions four boats were destroyed by being smashed against the ship's side or by being swamped. Two boats and one raft, however, got clear of the ship and those on board were saved. Some of the ship's personnel were picked up from the sea but many were frozen to death before they could be rescued. Captain Nielsen behaved with great courage throughout and did everything possible to ensure the safety of the crew and troops in this overwhelming experience. He remained on board to the last directing and assisting in the operations of abandonment. He was pulled on board a raft as the ship sank. Second Engineer Officer Andersen displayed outstanding gallantry. Although he was ordered to leave the engine room, he stayed behind to switch on the emergency lights in order to ensure there was lighting on deck for as long as possible. Second Engineer Officer Andersen was badly burned in the process.
Published in the London Gazette, 17 February 1942 – For services when the ship was bombed and sunk by German aircraft in the North Atlantic, 27/28 February 1941.
Mitchell-Heggs, Miss Barbara Colonial Nursing Service Commendation Morgan, Clifford Thomas Chief Officer Commendation Smith, Ernest Smoking Room Steward Commendation
– As above and for his conduct in taking charge of an open boat for six days
O'Brien, Denis John Able Seaman BEM (Civ)
Citation for Denis O'Brien:
The ship was hit by bombs and had to be abandoned. Boats were lowered and ordered to lie to their sea anchors. One of the boats became separated from the rest, and was at sea for six days in heavy weather. On the second day the officer in charge died and Able Seaman O'Brien found himself senior survivor. He sailed and organised the boat until rescued, showing courage, seamanship and resource throughout.
Ungazetted award by Lloyd's.
O'Brien, Denis John Able Seaman Lloyd's Bravery Medal
SS ANDALUCIA STAR
Published in the London Gazette, 30 March 1943 – For services when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-107
off the coast of West Africa on 6 October 1942.
Bennett, Norman Able Seaman Commendation Green, Lily Anne Stewardess Posthumous Commendation Hall, James Bennett Captain Commendation Hubbard, John William 4th Engineer Commendation
Published in the London Gazette, 4 June 1943 - Birthday Honours List 1943.
Kuhlmann, Hero Boatswain BEM (Civ)
Published in the London Gazette, 6 July 1943 – For the rescue of children when the ship was torpedoed and sunk.
Wheeler, William Stewart Lamptrimmer Bronze Sea Gallantry Medal
Citation for William Stewart Wheeler:
Lamptrimmer Wheeler's ship, carrying a number of passengers, was torpedoed in darkness. As the vessel was sinking rapidly, abandonment was ordered. During the abandonment one of the boats was upended and the occupants were thrown into the sea. Other boats which had got clear were picking up survivors when the cry of a small child was heard some distance away. Wheeler immediately dived in the water, swam through floating wreckage for a distance of about 600 yards to the child and supported it for 30 minutes until they were found by another boat and picked up. Lamptrimmer Wheeler displayed great courage in plunging overboard in choppy sea covered with wreckage. But for his gallant action the life of the child would undoubtedly have been lost.
Published in the London Gazette, 11 March 1941 – For services when the ship was bombed and sunk by German aircraft in the North Atlantic on 15 November 1940.
Marsh, Bruce C/JX 182820 Convoy Signalman RN BEM (Mil) Lendrum, Terence Anthony C/JX 185141 Convoy Signalman RN Posthumous MID
Published in the London Gazette, 13 May 1941.
Aitchison, Thomas Cunningham 3rd Officer MBE (Civ)
Citation for Thomas Cunningham Aitchison:
The ship was attacked by enemy aircraft and sunk. The Third Officer, the last to leave the ship, saved the life of a shipmate who, unable to swim, was unwilling to leave.
Mainprize, George Arnott 4th Officer Commendation Petrini, Harold Seaman Commendation Unsworth, Elisha Quartermaster Commendation
Published in the London Gazette, 12 June 1941 - Birthday Honours List 1941.
Mylrea, Wilfred Chief Engineer OBE (Civ) Unsworth, Elisha Quartermaster BEM (Civ)
Published in the London Gazette, 2 January 1940 – For services when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-30
in the North Atlantic on 3 September 1939, becoming the first ship to be sunk in World War II.
Harvey, William Boatswain BEM (Civ)
Citation for William Harvey:
After the torpedoing of SS Athenia
Mr Harvey showed outstanding coolness and efficiency on getting the boats away on the promenade deck, and setting a high example to the other men in this arduous and responsible work. On being hit Athenia at once heeled to an angle of some 8º, which gradually increased to 12º. This greatly added to his difficulties but all were filled and sent off well within an hour without mishap of any kind.
He also voluntarily returned to Athenia
with the Chief Officer to rescue an unconscious woman who had by mistake been left in hospital quarters. Shortly afterwards Athenia
Copeland, Barnett Mackenzie Chief Officer OBE (Civ)
Citation for Barnett Makenzie Copeland:
was torpedoed by an enemy submarine about dusk. In the gathering darkness some 750 survivors, mainly passengers, a number of whom were seriously injured, had to be put into lifeboats and removed from the ship, which was steadily settling. There were only seven sets of davits. There was some wind and sea. On being hit she at once heeled to an angle of some 8º, which gradually increased to 12º. This greatly added to the difficulty of getting the boats away, but all were filled and sent off well within an hour without mishap of any kind. The Officers and some of the crew remained on board and the Chief Officer visited some of the passenger accommodation in which he was convinced a shell had exploded. The many bodies lying about were completely blackened but he examined them to make sure that life was extinct. The Officers and the remaining hands were then fetched away in a motor boat.
The Chief Officer was responsible for all the arrangements and preparations, and the actual loading and getting away of the twenty-six boats. The fact that this was done in darkness without any kind of a hitch or loss reflects great credit on his powers of organisation and command. He was in due course picked up and taken aboard one of HM Ships. He then discovered that a woman, who should have been in his boat, was missing. Earlier in the day he had himself taken her to the sick bay unconscious. After the explosion he had sent two men to help her, but they had not been able to do so. He informed the Captain of the warship, who gave him a boat in which he and the Boatswain and one Able Seaman went back the Athenia. The woman was found in the sick bay, still unconscious. The Chief Officer examined the condition of Athenia for some quarter of an hour and then took back the rescued woman to the warship. Shortly afterwards Athenia
sank. The Commanding Officer of the warship reports that the Chief Officer, by his inspiration and example, did much to ensure the very high standard of courage and morale among the rescued.
Published in the London Gazette, 28 October 1940.
Cook, James Captain Commendation McLeod, Ronald Able Seaman Commendation
Ungazetted awards by Lloyd's.
Copeland, Barnett Mackenzie Chief Officer Lloyd's Bravery Medal Harvey, William Boatswain Lloyd's Bravery Medal
SS AVILA STAR
Published in the London Gazette, 24 November 1942 – For services when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-201
in the North Atlantic on 5 July 1942.
Pearce, Eric Reginald Chief Officer OBE (Civ) Tallack, Michael Bernard Millington 1st Officer OBE (Civ) Hardy, Joseph Boatswain's Mate Commendation Sutherland, Alexander Robertson Carpenter Commendation
– For like services and for their conduct during twenty days in an open boat.
Anson, John Leslie 2nd Officer OBE (Civ) Ferguson, Miss Maria Elizabeth Passenger BEM (Civ) Gray, John Andrew Boatswain BEM (Civ)
Citation for five recipients of the aforementioned:
The ship was struck by torpedoes and sank in about an hour. The organisation and discipline throughout were excellent. The Chief Officer displayed outstanding leadership both during the abandonment of the vessel and in the boat journey which followed. He maintained steady discipline and kept everyone in good heart. The First Officer who had been among the last on board made a most creditable boat journey and brought many to safety. The Second Officer showed skilful seamanship while in charge of a boat which was twenty days in the open sea. He overcame many difficulties including overcrowding, sickness and damage to the boat itself. One of the passengers, Miss Ferguson, showed great courage. She sat in the stern of a waterlogged boat throughout the night nursing four injured men. When the Second Officer's boat came up at daylight, she calmly dived over the side and swam to it. She was covered with fuel oil but made no fuss about that and her general behaviour during the 20 day's ordeal that followed was magnificent. The Boatswain showed great skill and initiative in taking charge of a boat and was responsible for saving many lives.
Published in the London Gazette, 2 February 1943, for his conduct during twenty days in an open boat.
Clarke, Richard Thomas 3rd Officer MBE (Civ)
Citation for Richard Thomas Clarke:
After the ship had been torpedoed and sunk, one of the boats made a voyage of 20 days before being picked up. Great hardship was suffered through exposure and ten of the occupants of the boat died during the voyage. After seventeen days the physical condition of the Officer in charge made it necessary for him to hand over the control of the boat to the Third Officer who throughout had been of great assistance. It was due to the courage, skill and fortitude of Mr Clarke during the latter part of the voyage that the boat was brought to safety.
Ungazetted awards by Lloyd's.
Ferguson, Miss Maria Elizabeth Passenger Lloyd's Bravery Medal Pearce, Eric Reginald Chief Officer Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Published in the London Gazette, 9 July 1941 – For services when the ship was bombed and near-missed by German aircraft while nursing the engines on 25 August 1940.
Drummond, Miss Victoria Alexandrine 2nd Engineer MBE (Civ)
Citation for Miss Victoria Alexandrine Drummond:
The ship was attacked for thirty-five minutes by a bomber, when 400 miles from land, but by skilful handling many hits were avoided. When the alarm was sounded, Miss Drummond at once went below and took charge. The first salvo flung her against the levers and nearly stunned her. When everything had been done to increase the ship's speed she ordered the engine room staff out. After one attack the main injection pipe just above her head started a joint and scalding steam rushed out. She nursed this vital pipe through the explosion of each salvo, easing down when the noise of the aircraft told her that bombs were about to fall, and afterwards increasing steam. Her conduct was an inspiration to the ship's company, and her devotion to duty prevented more serious damage to the vessel.
Ungazetted award by Lloyd's.
Drummond, Miss Victoria Alexandrine 2nd Engineer Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Published in the London Gazette, 16 December 1941 – For services when the ship was sunk by the German raider Thor
off the coast of West Africa on 25 March 1941.
McIntosh, Ian Stuart Lieutenant RN MBE (Mil)
West, Frank Laurence Lieutenant RN MBE (Mil) Davies, William Frederick Morgan Warrant Shipwright RN Commendation Rowlandson, Arthur Hadden Lieutenant RN Commendation Shipton, Miss Phylis Lucy Nursing Sister QARNNS Commendation Spurgeon, Stanley Herbert King Commander RAN Commendation Tadhunter, Richard Joseph Lieutenant RNR Commendation
Published in the London Gazette, 16 December 1941 - For services when the ship was attacked and sunk.
Lyons, Frank Mosford Lieutenant RNR Posthumous Commendation
Published in the London Gazette, 17 February 1942 – for like services.
Cane, Mrs Edith Stewardess Commendation Leitch, William Chief Officer Commendation
– For like services and for tending the wounded in an open boat.
Miller, Miss Adeline Nancy MB, Ch B Ship's Surgeon MBE (Civ)
– For like services and for taking charge of an open boat for twenty-two days.
McVicar, William 3rd Officer MBE (Civ)
Citation for Miss Adeline Nancy Miller and William McVicar:
The ship was sailing alone when she was approached by a raider, which opened fire at long range. She replied with her defensive armament but a shell put her main gun out of action and she suffered heavy structural damage. As her speed was less than that of the enemy, the Captain gave orders to abandon ship. A signal to this effect was made to the enemy, but the raider continued shelling, and holed many of the lifeboats. He sank the ship by gunfire and made off. During the action the Ship's Doctor, with perfect calm, attended to the wounded and dying. She continued her good work after the company had taken to the lifeboats and, by her efforts, saved many lives. The Third Officer was in charge of a lifeboat certified to hold fifty-eight people but which carried eighty-four. She was put before the wind, since she was otherwise unmanageable and, after a memorable voyage of twenty-two days, during which five Europeans and thirty-nine Indians died, a landfall was made. It was due to the courage, resolution and good seamanship of the Third Officer that the survivors reached safety.
Published in the London Gazette, 17 March 1942 – For like services.
Morgan, Miss Nesta Jennet Louise Passenger Commendation
Published in the London Gazette, 31 March 1942 – for like services.
Hyslop, Thomas McGregor Apprentice Posthumous Commendation
Ungazetted award by Lloyd's.
Miller, Mrs Adeline Nancy Ship's Surgeon Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Published in the London Gazette, 22 August 1944 – For services when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by I-177
off the east coast of Australia on 14 May 1943.
Savage, Miss Ellen Sister/NFX 76584 George Medal Australian Army Nursing Service
The KING has been graciously pleased on the advice of His Majesty's Australian Ministers, to approve the award of the George Medal, in recognition of conspicuous gallantry in carrying out arduous work in a very brave manner.
SS CITY OF BENARES
Published in the London Gazette, 7 January 1941 – For services when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-48
in the North Atlantic on 17 September 1940.
Cooper, Ronald Mitchell 4th Officer MBE (Civ) Cornish, Mary Alice Clara Escort BEM (Civ)
Citation for Mary Cornish:
The City of Benares
was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic when carrying passengers and children to Canada, and many were drowned. The Master was drowned and the vessel sank within an hour of the explosion of the torpedo. The Fourth Officer, Mr Cooper, got his boat safely away from the sinking ship and, largely through his seamanship and courage, his boat, with 46 persons on board, was brought safely through eight days' sailing on the Atlantic. All aboard her were then rescued by one of HM Destroyers. Miss Mary Cornish was one of the "escorts" travelling in charge of a number of children. When the vessel was struck, Miss Cornish collected the children for whom she was responsible, assembled them on deck, and then returned below to see if there were any others in need of aid. While the party were at sea Miss Cornish devoted herself to the task of saving her young charges, massaging the children to preserve circulation, encouraging them in simple exercises, inventing cheerful games, and arranging a daily health routine. She showed great endurance with an entire disregard for self. The party was rescued and brought safely home.
Richardson, Edward Colin Ryder Passenger (aged 11) Commendation Ryan, Annie Stewardess Commendation
Published in the London Gazette, 1 April 1941 – for saving four children when the ship was torpedoed and sunk.
Purvis, George Assistant Steward BEM (Civ)
Citation for George Purvis:
When SS City of Benares
was torpedoed, Assistant Steward Purvis ran aft down the main stairway towards his section. He carried an injured girl to the deck and then returned and, with difficulty, made his way through the debris to the cabins. The lights were out. He found three boys, took them to the foot of the stairway and told them to join the other children on deck. He then went back and brought out another small boy. The water was now up to his knees. He went back again to ensure that no children were left behind. By this time the water was up to his waist. Purvis showed great bravery and helped to save the lives of four children.
SS CITY OF CAIRO
Published in the London Gazette, 7 December 1943 – For services when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-68
in the South Atlantic on 6 November 1942.
Faulds, Robert Allison Chief Engineer Commendation
Usher, Miss Gladys Frances Marion Passenger Commendation Britt, Sydney Ernest Dennis Chief Officer Posthumous Commendation
– For like services and for their conduct during thirteen days in open boats.
Rogerson, William Alexander Captain OBE (Civ) Boundy, Leslie 2nd Officer MBE (Civ) Green, Thomas Gerard Chief Officer (passenger) MBE (Civ) MacNeil, Patrick Quartermaster BEM (Civ)
– For like services and for their conduct during fifty-two days in an open boat, from which they were the only survivors.
Whyte, James Allister 3rd Officer MBE (Civ) Gordon, Margaret Hope Maberly Passenger BEM (Civ)
– For like services, for his conduct during thirty-six days in an open boat, picked up by a German blockade runner, sunk by the Royal Navy, rescued by a U-boat and later as a prisoner of war.
MacDonald, Angus William Dewar Quartermaster BEM (Civ)
– For like services, for his conduct during thirty-six days in an open boat, picked up by a German blockade runner, sunk by the Royal Navy and then rescued.
Edmead, John Cheetham 3rd Steward BEM (Civ)
Citation for many of the aforementioned:
The ship, sailing alone, was torpedoed in darkness. She sustained heavy damage and commenced to settle rapidly by the stern. When it was seen that the vessel could not be saved, abandonment was ordered. The Master and twelve others were still on board when a second torpedo hit the ship, which sank almost immediately. The Master and his party reached a boat but it was dragged down with the ship. On coming to the surface the survivors were rescued were picked up by other boats and rafts. Many passengers and members of the crew were rescued from the sea during the night and distributed in six boats which set course for land, 480 miles away. The Master displayed great courage and coolness and it was mainly due to his efficient organisation that so many persons were successfully got away in the boats. After abandonment he kept all the boats together for 5 days until, through stress of weather and other circumstances, they parted company. In his own boat much hardship was experienced and some of the occupants died but Captain Rogerson, by his skill and seamanship, brought the remainder to safety after a voyage of 13 days, the boat being actually in sight of land when it was picked up. The Second Officer was in charge of a boat which, skilfully handled in the bad weather, kept company with the Master's boat and was picked up after 13 days. Mr Boundy had saved his sextant and navigation books and, despite the difficulties and hardships of the voyage, was able to obtain observations which kept his and the other boats on their course towards land. During the voyage Mr Boundy rigged a jury rudder when the boat was damaged. It was due to his skill, seamanship and resource that the survivors in his boat were brought to safety. The Third Officer was in charge of a boat which parted company with the others after seven days. As there were no navigational instruments in this boat, land was missed and the boat was adrift for 52 days. Great suffering and hardships were endured and when the boat was eventually picked up only the Third Officer and a passenger, Mrs Gordon, remained. Mr Whyte never gave up hope during this tremendous ordeal and, by improvisations and repairs, he kept the boat afloat and sailing. His courage and resource were outstanding. Mrs Gordon showed exceptional qualities of fortitude and endurance. When the occupants of the boat died one after another, she did all in her power to allay their sufferings. Towards the end of the voyage she kept watch and watch with the Third Officer in sailing and steering the boat. Mr Green, who was travelling as a passenger, took charge of another boat. The weather was bad and there were many difficulties but, by his courage, skill and resolute leadership, Mr Green brought the survivors to safety after a voyage of 13 days. Another boat went ahead independently in order to obtain help. Land, however, was missed and, after 13 days, the officer-in-charge died through exposure. Quartermaster MacDonald then took charge of the boat. By the thirty-sixth day he and Third Steward Edmead were the only survivors. They were picked up by a German blockade runner and remained in the enemy ship for about three weeks, when she was sunk by a British cruiser. Quartermaster MacDonald got away in a lifeboat with German survivors and was picked up later by a U-boat. He is now a prisoner of war. Third Steward Edmead abandoned the ship in another boat and was rescued after 5 days. Quartermaster MacDonald and Third Steward Edmead displayed outstanding courage and fortitude throughout their severe and protracted ordeal. Quartermaster MacNeil was in charge of another boat which was picked up after 13 days when within 40 miles of land. Quartermaster MacNeil displayed magnificent skill and seamanship in successfully navigating this overcrowded boat on a voyage of more than 400 miles under the most difficult and trying conditions.
Published in the London Gazette, 26 July 1940 – for services when the ship was bombed and damaged in the English Channel on 2 March 1940. The ship survived the war).
Brawn, William Chief Officer Commendation Duval, Bernard John Cadet Commendation
Ungazetted award by Lloyd's.
Duval, Bernard John Cadet Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Published in the London Gazette, 22 December 1942 – For services when the ship was attacked by gunfire by the Japanese raiders Aikoku Maru
and Hokoku Maru
south of Madagascar on 5 June 1942.
Mohiden, Ahmed Deck Serang BEM (Civ)
Armstrong, Miss Catherine McWatt Stewardess Commendation Byrne, Maurice Kevin Extra 3rd Officer Commendation Colquhoun, Angus James Forrest Chief Officer Commendation Fay, William Frederick 1st Radio Officer Commendation Morrison, Daniel Captain Commendation Taker, Roy 2nd Radio Officer Commendation
– For like services and for the rescue of a passenger.
Kennedy, William Gunner BEM (Civ)
Citation for Ahmed Mohiden and William Kennedy:
The ship was sailing alone when she was attacked by two Japanese raiders, who sank her with shells and torpedoes. After all the boats had got away, Kennedy showed great courage in trying to rescue a passenger who was hanging on to a side ladder. He himself escaped later on a raft. Ahmed Mohiden, by his example, instilled confidence in the native crew.
Published in the London Gazette, 4 January 1943 – New Year Honours List 1943.
Keay, James 2nd Engineer MBE (Civ)
MV EMPIRE STAR
Published in the London Gazette, 15 September 1942 – For services during the ship's escape from Singapore and during subsequent air attacks by Japanese aircraft in the Durian Strait, Dutch East Indies, on 12 February 1942.
Capon, Selwyn, OBE Captain CBE (Civ) Dawson, Joseph Lindon Chief Officer OBE (Civ) Francis, Ricard Frederick Chief Engineer OBE (Civ) Golightly, James Duncan 2nd Officer MBE (Civ) Smith, James Peter 3rd Officer MBE (Civ) Weller, Herbert Gordon Charles Senior 2nd Engineer MBE (Civ) Milne, Sydney Carpenter BEM (Civ) Power, William Boatswain BEM (Civ) Barber, Charles Percy Able Seaman Commendation Faulkner, Redmond Sneyd Cadet Commendation Heaver, Henry Edward Donkeyman Commendation Hughes, Thomas Stanley 2nd Steward Commendation Johnson, Joseph Linklater Junior 2nd Engineer Commendation Middleton, John Harris Senior 3rd Engineer Commendation Mitchell, John Falconer Junior 3rd Engineer Commendation Perry, Raymond Daniel Cadet Commendation Ribbons, Charles Edward Chief Steward Commendation Wright, George Singapore Pilot Commendation
The ship sailed from Singapore with many refugees. She was attacked continuously for two hours by enemy aircraft. Many bombs were dropped, three of which hit the ship and started large fires. The fire fighting organisation was good and the fires were put out. Another attack by 47 aircraft followed which again lasted two hours, but the ship was not hit. The Master's coolness, leadership and skill were outstanding, and it was mainly due to his handling of the ship that the vessel reached safety. The Chief Officer showed great organising ability and tireless leadership throughout. Under the direction of the Chief Engineer, the Engineer Officers remained at their posts and kept the engine and fire service pumps working thus releasing all others of the engine room staff to help the fire parties. The Second Officer was in charge of the guns and fought them with gallantry throughout the attacks. One aircraft was shot down and one certainly damaged by the combined fire of the ship and her escort. The Boatswain and Carpenter behaved magnificently throughout. They led the crew and worked tirelessly during the attacks. They were always present, leading fire parties, dealing efficiently with the fires and led parties that carried the wounded to hospital.
Published in the London Gazette, 22 September 1942 – For services on board the ship Empire Star's escape from Singapore and during subsequent air attacks by Japanese aircraft in the Durian Strait, Dutch East Indies, on 12 February 1942.
Torney, Vera Staff Nurse/VX 63746 OBE (Civ) Australian Army Nursing Service
The KING has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following appointment to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, in recognition of gallant conduct in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner.
Anderson, Margaret Staff Nurse/VX 63848 George Medal Australian Army Nursing Service
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the George Medal, in recognition of conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner
Published in the London Gazette, 2 March 1943 – For services when the ship Empire Star
was torpedoed and sunk by U-615
in the North Atlantic on 23 October 1942 and for his skilful handling of an open boat,
Vernon, Leslie Chief Officer MBE (Civ)
– For like services and for his conduct during four days in an open boat.
Moscrop-Young, Roland 3rd Officer MBE (Civ)
– For like services and for his conduct during two days in an open boat.
Donaldson, James Henry Able Seaman BEM (Civ)
RMS LADY HAWKINS
Published in the London Gazette, 27 October 1942 – for services when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-66
in the North Atlantic on 19 January 1942.
Rice, Ernest (P/JX 211503) Able Seaman, RN MID Squires, Clarence (P/JX 174347) Able Seaman, RN MID
Published in the London Gazette, 22 December 1942 – for like services.
Bolivar, Charles Sydney Boatswain's Mate Commendation Burton, William Arthur Carpenter Commendation Clayton, Robert Carter Radio Officer Commendation
For like services and for his conduct during four days in an open boat.
Kelly, Percy Ambrose Chief Officer MBE (Civ)
Ungazetted award by Lloyd's.
Kelly, Percy Ambrose Chief Officer Lloyd's Bravery Medal
The ship was sailing alone when she was attacked and sunk by a U-boat in the Atlantic. The Chief Officer, after his own boat was got away, stayed on board trying to get other boats away. Just before the ship sank he swam out to his own boat and took charge. It was overcrowded with 76 survivors in it. After four days they were picked up. Part of the time they met heavy weather and to steer the overladen boat with an oar, for the rudder was lost, called for good seamanship. The Chief Officer showed sterling qualities of leadership throughout and his cheerfulness sustained the spirits of all in the boat.
Published in the London Gazette, 2 July 1943 – for fire fighting and rescue work during an enemy air raid on Port Darwin when the hospital ship was strafed and damaged by Japanese aircraft on 19 February 1942.
Minto, Thomas Chief Officer MBE (Civ)
Published in the London Gazette, 23 January 1945 – for services in the Middle East and Far East and during the enemy air raid on Port Darwin.
Garden, James Captain OBE (Civ)
Published in the London Gazette, 25 January 1944 – For services when the hospital ship was bombed and damaged by enemy aircraft off Salerno on 13 September 1943 and sunk by gunfire the following day.
Wilson, John Eric Walker Captain OBE (Civ)
Walton, Robert Thompson 2nd Officer MBE (Civ)
Citation for the aforementioned:
A hospital ship, lying in Salerno Bay, was subjected to dive bombing by enemy aircraft. Later in the day she was ordered to put to sea for the night, fully illuminated. Early on the morning of the following day she was about 45 miles out to sea in company with two other hospital ships, also fully illuminated, when she was again attacked by enemy aircraft and hit by bombs. Fire immediately broke out and orders were given to get the nurses and patients away. The fire-fighting appliances had been put out of action but the Master and seventeen volunteers remained on board. Two naval escorts came alongside and with the help of their fire-fighting equipment the fires were put out. Preparations were made for towing the ship to port but eventually she had to be sunk by gunfire. The survivors were all rescued by nearby vessels. The Master showed great courage and coolness. He remained on the fiercely burning ship throughout and did everything possible to save the vessel. His excellent organisation was responsible for the safe abandonment of a large number of personnel and his leadership set a fine example to the volunteer party which remained on board with him. The Second Officer displayed gallantry of a high order. Although wounded, he helped to lower the boats from the blazing deck and later took charge of one of the boats and brought its occupants to safety.
Captain John Wilson reported in ADM199/802 that:
All the crew behaved extremely well, but the conduct of the following members of my crew was especially outstanding:
Second Officer Robert Walton
Although severely wounded with a fractured leg and an arm and bleeding badly, he took charge of his lifeboat, loaded with about 60 American nurses, and took it safely to the hospital ship Leinster. His conduct was magnificent and it was not until later that he was found to be severely wounded, when he collapsed through loss of blood.
Captain Wilson also listed four more crew members in the same document:
Third Officer Burnett Estill, Extra Second Officer Kenneth Murray, Able Seaman Allan Apps and Able Seaman William Broxham, and went on to say:
At very grave risk, they lowered two lifeboats from the blazing boat deck, thereby being directly responsible for saving at least 100 lives. They not only lowered these boats but they attended to the safe loading of them, their cool behaviour setting a very fine example.
Five deck officers and 12 members of the crew voluntarily stayed behind with me and were untiring in their efforts to save the ship. They did everything possible to fight the fire and later rendered very valuable assistance to the salvage party in effecting temporary repairs.
Apps, Allan John Able Seaman Commendation Broxham, William Able Seaman Commendation Estill, Burnett 3rd Officer Commendation Murray, Kenneth Buckley Extra 2nd Officer Commendation
Published in the London Gazette, 2 March 1943 – For services when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-172
in the South Atlantic on 10 October 1942.
Fox, Charles Captain CBE (Civ)
Burnnand, Stanley Salter Staff Commander OBE (Civ) Craddock, Richard James 1st Officer OBE (Civ) Harvey, Robert Sharpe 2nd Engineer MBE (Civ) Waugh, John Assistant 2nd Engineer MBE (Civ) Murrin, Michael Greaser BEM (Civ) Cooper, Peter Campbell Junior Assistant Engineer Commendation Foggin, Gilbert 4th Engineer Commendation McKenna, Francis Senior Assistant Engineer Commendation Cruddington, Arthur Greaser Posthumous Commendation Goodwin, George Thomas Greaser Posthumous Commendation Johnston, William Chief Engineer Posthumous Commendation Murphy, James Boatswain Posthumous Commendation
Published in the London Gazette, 31 August 1943 – For like services and for remaining below. (Substituted for the BEM awarded in London Gazette
2 March 1943).
Spence, Arthur James Boilermaker MBE (Civ)
Citation for some of the aforementioned:
The ship, sailing alone, was torpedoed. At the time a moderate gale was blowing and the sea was rough with a very heavy swell. Later the ship was again torpedoed, and the Master decided to get away the passengers and the majority of the crew in the boats. Those remaining on board made valiant efforts to save the ship but they were frustrated by further attacks and she finally sank about three hours after the first attack. As the ship was sinking, the Master and the crew remaining on board abandoned her. In his determined efforts to save the ship, the Master showed great courage and leadership of a high order. He was the last to leave and assisted two men to safety when swimming towards a raft. The Staff Commander was conspicuous for his great coolness and courage. He was responsible for the able manner in which the ship's organisation functioned during the abandonment. This, and his attention to detail, contributed greatly to the saving of many lives. The First Officer displayed exceptional skill and leadership. He did good work in rounding up the boats and, after nursing them through the heavy weather, finally piloted them safely to a rescue vessel. The engine room staff carried out their work with steadfastness and determination. It called for sustained courage to remain below in the crippled ship, knowing well the likelihood of further attack and the hopelessness of the situation had the machinery spaces been struck. Mr Harvey's coolness and courage inspired the engine room and boiler room staff. Mr Waugh displayed outstanding devotion to duty, remaining in the engine room throughout the attacks. Boilermaker Spence and Greaser Murrin also showed courage and devotion to duty.
Ungazetted award by Lloyd's.
Fox, Charles Captain Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Published in the London Gazette, 21 October 1941 – For services when the ship was attacked and sunk by the German raiders Komet
in the South Pacific on 27 November 1940.
Francis, William Cook BEM (Civ) Plumb, Mrs Elizabeth 1st Class Stewardess BEM (Civ) Walker, John Robert Deck Mechanic BEM (Civ) Barker, Philip Boatswain Commendation Carpenter, Cecil Edward Writer Commendation Hallett, Norman James 1st Radio Officer Commendation Hopkins, Ernest Hamblen Chief Officer Commendation Upton, Herbert Lionel Captain Commendation
Ungazetted awards by Lloyd's.
Francis, William Cook Lloyd's Bravery Medal Plumb, Mrs Elizabeth 1st Class Stewardess Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Citation of the aforementioned:
The ship was attacked and sunk by enemy surface raiders. Mrs Elizabeth Plumb was badly wounded early in the shelling, but she helped and guided her passengers from their quarters to their boat stations and continued to look after them when in the lifeboat. On board the raider she refused medical attention and made light of her injuries until all the wounded had been treated. It was not until the German doctors noticed she was fainting, owing to the loss of blood, that they tended her and found she had been lacerated by shell splinters. Among the last to leave the ship were Ship's Cook William Francis and Deck Mechanic John Walker. Francis, at great risk to himself, rescued two women from burning accommodation and took a badly wounded passenger with him to the boat. Walker tended two wounded shipmates under shellfire and brought them to a lifeboat. When this capsized, he supported one of the men, who was too badly hurt to wear a lifebelt, and got him to safety.
SS ST DAVID
Published in the London Gazette, 25 July 1944 – for services when the ship was bombed and sunk by enemy aircraft off Anzio on 24 January 1944.
Knorring, George Richard Quartermaster Commendation Owens, Evan William Captain Posthumous Commendation
Ungazetted award by Lloyd's.
Owens, Evan William Captain Posthumous Lloyd's Bravery Medal
SS ST PATRICK
Published in the London Gazette, 13 December 1940 – for services when the ship was bombed and damaged by German aircraft in St George's Channel on 17 August 1940.
Maloney, Mary Passenger Commendation
Published in the London Gazette, 23 September 1941 – for services when the ship was bombed and sunk by enemy aircraft in the St George's Channel on 13 June 1941.
Campbell, Norman William Chief Radio Officer MBE (Civ)
Purcell, Francis Joseph 2nd Engineer MBE (Civ) Owen, Miss Elizabeth May Stewardess George Medal
Citation of the aforementioned:
The ship was attacked by an enemy aircraft with bombs and machine guns. She was hit by a salvo, caught fire, broke in two, and quickly sank with the loss of many lives. In spite of great damage to his cabin and instrument, Mr Campbell got his emergency set into action almost at once and sent out two messages. These were picked up by a man-of-war which rescued survivors. Two other members of the crew showed outstanding bravery. Senior Engineer Purcell saved three men trapped in the engine room. He then found another man lying wounded in an alleyway. With help, he got him to the well-deck and when the ship sank supported him until rescued. Stewardess Owen groped her way in darkness to the women's berths on the lowest deck of the vessel. She had some difficulty in opening the doors of the quarters but forced them and brought five women and girls to the well-deck. Sailors offered her lifebelts for her charges. She saw them put on, although there was none for herself. She then returned to bring away another girl. By this time the ship was sinking. Stewardess Owen could have reached the last lifeboat but she would not leave the girl and jumped into the sea with her and supported her for nearly two hours, until they were rescued.
Ungazetted awards by Lloyd's.
Campbell, Norman William Chief Radio Officer Lloyd's Bravery Medal Owen, Miss Elizabeth May Stewardess Lloyd's Bravery Medal Purcell, Francis Joseph 2nd Engineer Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Citation for the aforementioned:
When the ship was attacked by an enemy aircraft with bombs and machine-gun the St Patrick
caught fire, broke in two and quickly sank. Severe damage was done to the wireless cabin and instruments, but Chief Radio Officer Campbell immediately sent out two messages on his emergency set that were picked up by a man-of -war which saved survivors. Second Engineer Purcell rescued three men trapped in the engine room. He then found another man lying wounded in an alleyway, with help he got him to the well deck and when the ship sank supported him until they were rescued. Stewardess Owen groped her way in the darkness to the women's berths on the lowest deck. She forced the doors of the quarters and brought five women and girls to the well deck. Sailors gave her life belts and she put them on her charges although there was none for herself. The ship was now sinking but she returned for another girl. She could have got into the last lifeboat, but she would not leave the girl and jumped into the sea with her and supported her for nearly two hours until they were rescued.
Published in the London Gazette, 30 March 1943 – for services when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-509
in the North Atlantic on 27 October 1942.
Carruthers, Robert Hawthorne 2nd Officer OBE (Civ)
Citation for Robert Hawthorne Carruthers:
The ship, sailing in convoy, was torpedoed in darkness. A large fire broke out forward and the vessel sank within eight minutes. Orders for abandonment were given and a number of boats got away safely, but owing to the rapid sinking of the vessel some of the crew were thrown into the water. The Second Officer displayed outstanding courage and resolution throughout. He was in charge of one of the boats and got the occupants safely to a rescuing ship. He then set out with a voluntary crew and succeeded in picking up several of those who were swimming amongst the wreckage.
Published in the London Gazette, 27 April 1943 – for like services and for tending a wounded man.
Chisholm, William Surgeon Posthumous Albert Medal
Citation for William Chisholm, MB, Ch,B:
The ship in which Mr Chisholm was serving was torpedoed in darkness and immediately began to sink. A fire broke out, which enveloped the bridge in flames and orders were given to abandon the vessel. She sank within eight minutes. One of the Senior Officers, who was on the bridge, was badly injured. He was taken to the surgery where Mr Chisholm immediately attended to him and afterward, as he was helpless, helped him to the deck in order to get him away from the sinking ship. Mr Chisholm's efforts, however, were unsuccessful and neither he nor the Officer was seen again. Although the ship was sinking rapidly, Mr Chisholm remained and deliberately sacrificed his chance of safety in a gallant attempt to save the life of another.
Ungazetted award by Lloyd's.
Chisholm, William Surgeon Posthumous Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Published in the London Gazette, 11 May 1943 – for services when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-562
off the coast of Algeria on 21 December 1942.
Biggs, John Henry Captain CBE (Civ)
Last, John Cavendish William Chief Officer OBE (Civ) MacLennan, George James Chief Engineer OBE (Civ) Simpson, Jack Supernumary 4th Engineer MBE (Civ) Clark, Albert John Winchman BEM (Civ) Goodall, Christopher Herbert Steward BEM (Civ) McKibbin, Thomas Robert St Clair Cadet BEM (Civ)
Citation for the aforementioned:
The ship was torpedoed in darkness and sustained considerable damage. As a precautionary measure boats were lowered and the passengers and the majority of the crew taken off. Although temporary repairs were carried out and the ship was taken in tow by another vessel, it became necessary to transfer the remainder of those on board, with the exception of a number of key personnel, to vessels which were standing by. Shortly afterwards, a serious fire broke out which, despite heroic efforts on the part of the crew, spread rapidly and was soon out of control. The Master and others remaining on board were forced to leave the ship. Efforts to tow the vessel were continued but they proved unavailing and shortly after she sank. The Master displayed great courage, coolness and sound judgement throughout. He made determined efforts to save his ship and it was due to his excellent leadership and organisation that only seven lives were lost. The Chief Officer showed courage and devotion to duty. He quickly organised parties to do vital repairs and to carry out towing operations. His leadership and example contributed greatly to the successful abandonment of the vessel. After the ship was hit, the Chief Engineer Officer went to the engine room which was flooded with oil and water. With assistance, he rescued a fireman who was trapped under the gratings. He then found a large number of men whose exit from one of the lower decks had been blocked by the explosion and led them up on deck via the engine room. But for his courage and resource the loss of life might have been much greater. Mr Simpson was conspicuous throughout by his devotion to duty. He was on watch in the boiler room and, although injured by the explosion, he remained at his post until ordered to abandon ship. Before leaving he closed down the boilers. Later, he jumped overboard from a motor lifeboat and helped to clear the propeller which had been fouled by a rope. Steward Goodall behaved with great gallantry when his boat became waterlogged and he was washed into the sea. In the water, he collected nine persons and kept them together until a raft was reached. When he was picked up by a boat from a rescuing ship, he directed the way in darkness to another raft from which four persons were rescued. Cadet McKibbin displayed courage and devotion to duty on board the sinking ship. He remained at the wheel until he was forced off the bridge by the flames. Winchman Clark, who is 65 years old, remained at his post until the ship was finally abandoned and carried out his duties with courage and coolness.
Davies, David Benjamin Assistant Steward Commendation Orr, Donald Alexander Assistant Engineer Commendation Wacher, John Frank Cadet Commendation Wade, Harry Richard Cadet Commendation
Ungazetted awards by Lloyd's.
Biggs, John Henry Captain Lloyd's Bravery Medal Goodall, Christopher Herbert Steward Lloyd's Bravery Medal MacLennan, George James Chief Engineer Lloyd's Bravery Medal Simpson, Jack Supernumerary 4th Engineer Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Published in the London Gazette, 9 January 1946 – New Year Honours List 1946. (The ship was bombed and sunk by enemy aircraft off the coast of Sicily on10 July 1943).
Cameron, Harry Chief Officer MBE (Civ)
Published in the London Gazette, 20 January 1942 – for services when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-124
off the west coast of Africa on 30 March 1941 and for his conduct during twelve days on a raft.
Elliott, Edward Gordon Seaman BEM (Civ)
Citation for Edward Gordon Elliott:
The ship was torpedoed at night and sank within sixteen minutes. Elliott, who had four ribs broken, went down with her but soon came to the surface where he saw a float with a man on it. He then helped another member of the crew to reach it. The float was not intended for sitting on, and the weight of the three men partly submerged it. After drifting for four days they sighted a vessel and Elliott drew its attention by using a tobacco tin as a heliograph. It proved to be the submarine which had sunk the ship. The Commander gave the three men provisions, some of which were washed off the same night. Five days passed and one man died. The two survivors were attacked night and day by sharks, who tried to sweep them off with their tails. After twelve days afloat, they were rescued. Elliott's succour of his shipmate when the ship sank, and his great fortitude and endurance were matched by his indomitable spirit.
Published in the London Gazette, 28 April 1942 – for like services.
Brothers, Frank Reginald Passenger BEM (Civ)
Citation for Frank Reginald Brothers:
The ship was torpedoed at night and sank within sixteen minutes. Mr Brothers managed to get on to a float and was joined by two members of the crew. This float was not intended for sitting on and the weight of the men partially submerged it. One of the men was badly injured and Mr Brothers did all he could to give him comfort. Later he partly recovered. The other man died. After twelve days afloat the survivors were rescued. Mr Brothers showed courage and endurance throughout the ordeal.
Hare, John Edward Radio Officer Posthumous Commendation
Ungazetted award by Lloyd's.
Elliott, Edward Gordon Seaman Lloyd's Bravery Medal
SS VYNER BROOKE
Published in the London Gazette, 4 February 1947 – for services during the evacuation of Singapore when the ship was bombed and sunk by Japanese aircraft off Bangka Strait on 14 February 1942 and as a prisoner of war of the Japanese.
Borton, Richard Edward Captain MBE (Civ)
OTHER HONOURS AND AWARDS GIVEN TO SERVICE OR MERCANTILE WOMEN WHO SERVED AT SEA
Published in the London Gazette, 1 September 1942 – for tending wounded in a boat after the ship had been torpedoed and sunk by U-505
in the Gulf of Guinea on 4 April 1942.
Brown, Norah Mary Senior Sister Colonial Nursing Service MBE (Mil)
Citation for Norah Mary Brown:
The ship was torpedoed and sank in eight minutes. Four boats were lowered, all on board getting safely away. Two boats with engines towed the others to a neutral port, which was reached in five days. One of the passengers, Nurse Brown, showed great devotion in tending three Engineer Officers who had been severely burned in an accident on board a few days before. Two of them died, but her devoted care of the third during the boat journey saved his life.
Published in the London Gazette, 1 January 1946 – New Year Honours List 1946 – for services on board the hospital ship Amarapoora. (The ship survived the war).
Christian, Emily Elizabeth Matron QARNNS (R) ARRC
SS ATLANTIS Published in the London Gazette, 1 January 1943 – New Year Honours List 1943 – for services on board the hospital ship Atlantis. (The ship survived the war).
Short, Mrs Jennie Stewardess BEM (Civ)
SS CARIBOU Published in the London Gazette, 1 January 1946 – New Year Honours List 1946 – for attempted saving of life when the SS Caribou
was torpedoed and sunk by U-69
in the Cabot Strait on 14 October 1942.
Brooke, Margaret Martha Nursing Dietician RCN MBE (Mil)
Published in the London Gazette, 4 January 1944 – New Year Honours List 1944.
Saunders, Miss Amelia Annie Stewardess BEM (Civ)
SS DINARD Published in the London Gazette, 16 August 1940 – for services during the withdrawal of Allied armies from Dunkirk. (The ship survived the war).
Goodrich, Amy Stewardess Commendation
Jones, John William Ailwyn Chief Officer Commendation Smith, Norman Chief Engineer Commendation
MV DUNBAR CASTLE
Published in the London Gazette, 20 March 1940 – for services when the ship was mined and sunk on 9 January 1940.
Robinson, Hubert Hedley Chief Officer OBE (Civ)
Akehurst, Ernest Henry Able Seaman Commendation Clarke, Eveline May Stewardess Commendation Copplestone, Marion Alston Stewardess Commendation Ferguson, Sarah Stewardess Commendation
Citation for the aforementioned:
SS Dunbar Castle
was sailing in a slow convoy. She carried 50 passengers, among whom were women and children. In the early afternoon a mine exploded on her starboard hand, below the bridge structure. She broke in two at the point of impact, and in smoke and fumes crumpled up from the aft end of the forewell deck. She at once heeled over to starboard and her list rapidly increased. Most of the damage was near the Officers' cabins and the bridge, on which the Master was mortally injured and the Second and Fourth Officers also hurt. All light was cut off below, fierce fires started in the galley and some men were badly burned. The Chief Officer was on the promenade deck. He went down to the boat deck, which he found deserted, and lowered three boats. The crew were slow to action stations as the two ladders from the forecastle had collapsed. He went to his cabin to find a torch and a knife with which to cut away a boat ladder. All the boats were manned without panic, but the Doctor and one man were thrown into the water. They hung on to the gunwale of another of the boats lowered by the Chief Officer and were pulled aboard. The Chief Officer and a volunteer, Able Seaman E. Akehurst, then went below to make sure that no one was lying injured there; they called out in the dark, but there was no answer. When they came out the boat deck was awash and they had to leave the ship. There were men in the water, one of whom the Chief Officer picked up; two others were picked by another boat. Three stewardesses looked after the wounded with the utmost care. All night long the Tourist Stewardess tended the injured Quartermaster.
Published in the London Gazette, 13 June 1946 – Birthday Honours List 1946 – for services in the hospital ship Gerusalemme. (The ship survived the war).
Willoughby, Norah Maude Matron QARNNS ARRC
Published in the London Gazette, 6 August 1940 – for the destruction of two enemy aircraft. (The ship was bombed, straffed and damaged by enemy aircraft off the north east coast of Scotland on 1 August 1940. The ship survived the war).
Gifford, William Captain OBE (Civ)
Anderson, George Able Seaman BEM (Civ) Whyman, Bert Fireman BEM (Civ) Birnie, William Able Seaman Commendation Cockburn, Miss Stewardess Commendation Halcrow, Laurence Smith Steward Commendation
SS JAMAICA PRODUCER
Published in the London Gazette, 4 January 1943 – New Year Honours List 1943.
Cangley, Margaret Mary Stewardess BEM (Civ)
Published in the London Gazette, 11 June 1942 – Birthday Honours List 1942. (The ship survived the war)
Coombes, Mary Jane Matron MBE (Civ)
Published in the London Gazette, 23 May 1944 – for services in the hospital ship Oxfordshire
during 'Operation Avalanche', the Allied landings at Salerno in September 1943. (The ship survived the war).
Maxwell, Joseph Archibald CVO OBE Surgeon Captain RN CBE (Mil) Latham, Walter James Surgeon LtCdr RN OBE (Mil) Moore, Georgina Nursing Sister QARNNS (R) ARRC Hill, Jack C/SBR/X 7682 Sick Berth PO RNVR MID
Published in the London Gazette, 1 January 1946 – New Year Honours List 1946.
Bentley, Muriel Annie Matron QARNNS (R) ARRC
Published in the London Gazette, 11 June 1946 – wind up of the war in the Far East.
Whitley, Mary Elizabeth Nursing Sister QARNNS (R) ARRC
SS PORT WELLINGTON
Published in the London Gazette, 9 November 1943 – for services when the ship was attacked and sunk by the German raider Pinguin
in the Indian Ocean on 1 December 1940.
McLean, Mrs Edith Bennett Passenger Commendation
RMS QUEEN ELIZABETH
Published in the London Gazette, 24 June 1946 – Birthday Honours List 1946. (The ship survived the war).
Higgins, Emily Leading Stewardess BEM (Civ)
RMS QUEEN MARY
Published in the London Gazette, 24 June 1946 – Birthday Honours List 1946. (The ship survived the war).
Marshallsay, Mrs Edith Maud Leading Stewardess BEM (Civ)
Ungazetted award for services during convoy MW 10 from Alexandria to Malta in March 1942 and when the ship was bombed and sunk.
Johnsen, Margit (Norwegian) Stewardess BEM (Civ)
Published in the London Gazette, 4 January 1944 – New Year Honours List 1944. (The ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-181
in the Indian Ocean on 7 August 1943).
Ferguson, Emma Stewardess BEM (Civ)
Published in the London Gazette, 1 January 1942 – New Year Honours List 1942.
(The hospital ship was bombed and damaged off Tobruk on 14 April 1942. The ship survived the war).
Pruddah, Louie Joyce Nursing Sister QARNNS ARRC
Ungazetted award for services when the ship was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Egypt by U-559
on 26 December 1941.